John Lewis
Jumpin' in the Future
Collaboration
George Russell

Jazz » Free Jazz » Third Stream

Third Stream (a term invented by composer Gunther Schuller in 1957) essentially means a mixture of jazz and classical music. Most attempts at fusing the two very different idioms have been (at best) mixed successes with string sections weighing down jazz soloists. In the 1920s, Paul Whiteman alternated between symphonic string sections and classic jazz solos. Strings were used in some swing bands in the 1940s (most inventively by Artie Shaw and Stan Kenton's dissonant works of 1950-51) but in all cases the added musicians were merely reading their parts and backing the improvisers. Starting with Charlie Parker in 1949, jazz players recorded now and then (while joined by strings), but it was not until the mid-to-late '50s that more serious experiments began to take place. Schuller, John Lewis, J.J. Johnson, and Bill Russo were some of the more significant composers attempting to bridge the gap between jazz and classical music. Most musical forecasters in the mid-'50s would have predicted that jazz's next phase would involve a fusion of sorts with classical music, but the rise of the avant garde (which has a spontaneity and an extrovertism that most pseudo-classical works lack) largely ended the third stream movement before it came close to catching on beyond academic circles. Since its heyday in the late '50s, there have been occasional third stream projects ranging from significant successes (such as Eddie Daniels' Breakthrough CD for GRP) to some that sound closer to pompous Muzak. Although the movement never really became a major force, it still has potential.

Third Stream Artists Highlights

John Lewis
John Lewis
George Russell
George Russell
The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Modern Jazz Quartet
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
Gunther Schuller
Gunther Schuller
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter

More Third Stream Artists

Third Stream Album Highlights

Jumpin' in the Future
Gunther Schuller
Jumpin' in the Future
Collaboration
The Modern Jazz Quartet / ...
Collaboration
Teo Macero with the Prestige Jazz Quartet
Teo Macero / The Prestige ...
Teo Macero with the ...
The Golden Striker/John Lewis Presents Jazz Abstractions
John Lewis
The Golden Striker/John ...
In a Crowd
The Modern Jazz Quartet
In a Crowd
Ravel: Bolero
Jacques Loussier / Jacques ...
Ravel: Bolero

More Third Stream Albums

Third Stream Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Django The Modern Jazz Quartet
Lydiot George Russell
Harlem Paul Bley
O Come All Ye Faithful Stan Kenton
Little Waltz Ron Carter
Pegasus Wayne Shorter
Flight Paul Bley / Jimmy Giuffre / Jimmy Giuffre 3 / Steve Swallow
Trieste Laurindo Almeida / The Modern Jazz Quartet
Aria (Orchestral suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068) The Modern Jazz Quartet / The Swingle Singers
A Cold Wind Is Blowing The Modern Jazz Quartet

More Third Stream Songs

Other Styles in Free Jazz